All 12 Volkswagen car brands and how the auto giant acquired each one


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Volkswagen car brands have different stories behind reasons why they joined the German marques. What are they? Read on to find out!

There is no arguing the fact that the Volkswagen automotive company is one of the largest and most popular names in the car market globally. Volkswagen, which translates to 'people's car' in Germany, is an automaker founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front. The different Volkswagen car brands are very popular across the world.


From little to big, does VW rule world auto?

VW Beetlen - The lengend of the automotive industry

VW is most known for its classic Beetle model with an exterior having a striking resemblance to a bug. The beetle is one of the first VW vehicles manufactured in Germany with its concept and its functional objectives formulated by the then leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler.

The German leader wanted a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for his country's new road network (Reichsautobahn). It was marketed by the automotive company from 1938-2003.


The iconic VW Beetle was indeed the people's car for 7 decades plus

>>> You might also like to read:  10 little known facts about the Volkswagen Beetle

The Volkswagen car company

The Volkswagen automaker, which is the flagship of the Volkswagen group has grown a lot through the years due to its many mergers and acquisitions to the point of owning up to 12 top car brands. This has resulted in it overtaking the Toyota company to become one of the largest automobile makers in 2017. One of the reason for that is thanks to the fact that Volkswagen car prices in Nigeria in 2020 are very competitive while others can be seen int his article, keep reading!

12 Volkswagen car brands

The 12 brands owned by the German auto giant Volkswagen include the Volkswagen passenger cars, Audi, Bugatti, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, SKODA, Ducati, MAN, SCANIA, and Volkswagen commercial vehicles, with its largest market in China which delivers sales and profits over 40%.

Let’s look more closely at each of these:

1. Audi

The Audi brand has been a part of the Volkswagen group since 1965 though it was founded in 1909 as an independent company.

Audi is one of the leading premium brands in the world. The Audi automotive company has set a standard for premium deliveries, so much so that notwithstanding the challenges and difficult markets it faced, at the beginning of 2019, it still went on to give forth a total of 1.9 million vehicles to customers (plus 1.8%) and achieved an operating return on sales of some 8.0 percent.

In the UK alone, the manufacturers sell over 65 different models of Audi.

The company scatters production facilities across over 16 international centers worldwide.


Audi joined the VW group in 1965

>>> More about Audi: 7 things you need to know about Audi

2. Bugatti

Bugatti is a French luxury automobile manufacturer which was founded in 1909.

With its manufacturer known to produce some of the fastest cars in the world, its trademark was soon purchased by Volkswagen in 1998 and not untill 2020 was full ownership finally completed.

Buggati headquarters is located in the Molsheim commune, France.


In 2000, Bugatti joined the VW group

>>> You might also like to read: The evolution history of Bugatti cars

3. Bentley

Since 1919, the manufacturing of luxury Bentley automobiles has been constant with its head office based in Crewe, England.

It allied itself with the Volkswagen group after Volkswagen won a bid for the purchase of Bentley's Rolls Royce model, outbidding BMW in the process and gaining most of the rights with the exception of the Rolls-Royce's name and logo.

However, it would be until 2003 when the full ownership process was finally concluded.


In 2003, Bentley would become an official part of the VW group

>>> Read also: 9 intriguing stories about the history of the Bentley brand

4. Lamborghini

The Lamborghini car brand is an Italian sports car manufacturer founded in 1963. It was started as a direct competitor to Ferrari. The Italian company has been part of the Volkswagen Group since 1998, and today, 1,812 employees work at the headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese.

By 1987 it had changed ownership several times due to some financial difficulties it experienced due to a worldwide shutdown before Volkswagen later took over in 1998.

Volkswagen placed Lamborghini under Audi management, and it has been producing top-notch V12 sports cars ever since.


It took until 1998 until Lamborghini joined VW 

>>> Learn more about Lamborghini: Top 10 interesting facts you hardly know about Lamborghini

5. Porsche

German automobile manufacturing company Porsche, founded by Ferdinand Porsche in 1931, initially wasn't involved in the production of cars until its first vehicle production in 1939.

In fact, during WWII, Porsche was involved in the manufacture of military tanks. Like, really?

It is true that its designs are similar to the popular Volkswagen beetle. This is due to the fact that the two companies have had a long relationship even before deciding to merge in 2009 with Volkswagen holding a majority of the shares in 2015.


Between 2009 and 2015, VW consolidated holdings in long time partner Porsche

>>> Click to reveal more posts about Porsche:


Gaining total control of SEAT wasn't an easy task as this journey took up to 10 good years before Volkswagen was able to own the majority of stock and later on, the entirety of the equity stake of SEAT.

This began with many partnerships and a gradual climb on stock holdings from the 1980s through to 1990 when total ownership was finally achieved.

With its head office in Martorell, Spain, the company, which was founded in 1950, quickly became the largest supplier of cars in Spain, employing over 15 thousand staff with up to 24 models being sold in the UK currently.


SEAT became part of VW in 1990


ŠKODA is an automaker from the Czech Republic that saw the light of day in 1895. SKODA is the brainchild of the duo of Laurin and Klement.

The company finds its headquarters in the city of Mladá Boleslav, also in the Czech Republic.

For a while, and very briefly, SKODA was the property of the government. This was in around the year 1925. The company experienced privatization much later in 1991. The SKODA car company is widespread and accounts for car sales in more than 100 countries around the world.

Full ownership of the ŠKODA name and assets by Volkswagen AG was not a quick affair. The process lasted about 9 years, from 1991 up to 2000 before the deal was finalized.

Furthermore, by the year 2017, ŠKODA's profits from car sales revenue were recorded as number two throughout the Volkswagen AG group. This came only second to the chief VW brand by profits, Porsche.


VW struggled to land SKODA, in 2000 it was a done deal

8. Ducati

Ducati is quite a popular name in the automobile market. The company whose head office is situated in Bologna, Italy is known for its uniquely designed motorcycles which are currently in production worldwide.

Founded in 1926, the company was later owned by German automobile manufacturer Audi through its Italian subsidiary, Lamborghini, with Audi itself owned by the Volkswagen Group.

The company is well known for its four-stroke motorcycles which have dominated the motorcycle industry for decades and do not look like quitting anytime soon.


Ducati is the VW AG's motorbike division

9. MAN

Started in 1758, MAN manufacturing company focused on activities in the areas of transport and energy. It supplies trucks, buses, vans, diesel engines, turbomachinery, and special gear units and holds top market positions in all divisions.

Volkswagen took interest in the company in 2011 by purchasing a 55.9% stake which was increased to 73% in 2012.


VW began in 2011 and consolidated in 2012 with MAN majority share


SCANIA is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks, urban and intercity buses, coaches, and industrial and marine engines.

The company was founded in 1911 in the province of Scania, Sweden. The company has production bases in over 10 African countries and many across Europe and Asia.

The company has been a Volkswagen Group brand since 2008 after it first took over 36.4% of the shares in 2000. Volkswagen would later take complete control of SCANIA stakes in 2015.


A heavy-duty truck division would make VW complete, that became SCANIA

11. Volkswagen Passenger Cars

Volkswagen Passenger Cars whose vision is 'Moving people and driving them forward' are no slouch themselves, with the automobile company delivering a record 6.3 million passenger vehicles worldwide in 2018 (+0.5%) alone. Cars like the 2004 Golf 4 represent the essence of this line.


VW has a passenger cars subsidiary of course

12. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

Volkswagen Commercial vehicles are the leading manufacturers of light commercial cars. It is owned by Volkswagen Group, with its head office situated in Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany. It once operated hand in hand with the Volkswagen Passenger Cars company, but as of 1995, it became separated; hence, it now functions singularly to date.


Smaller commercial vehicles are made under this banner

How big is VW? The video below explains more:

Companies owned by Volkswagen - How big is Volkswagen 


What is quite awe-inducing is knowing that the Volkswagen group does not just own the Volkswagen brand but also a diverse array of car types and models. It is simply amazing how large and overwhelmingly successful this company really is with its many stock exchange listings across the world. Indeed, Volkswagen car brands have come to stay.

>>> No one does auto quite like Get the latest car news, car reviews, and car prices always

>>> Enjoyed this, other auto fun and car trivia articles here

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Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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